Throughout the month of September Oceania Rugby along with its 17 member unions joined in celebrating Women in Rugby. This regionally lead initiative was focused on highlighting what is happening in Oceania Women’s rugby and the significant advancements and achievements of women in the game.
Adopting the theme “Right here, Right now!” The month was used to display and celebrate the numerous people that are constantly driving female development in Rugby within the Oceania region for the lead up to the Women’s 2021 Rugby World Cup (Held in 2022 due to COVID).
During the month three webinars were held to celebrate the achievements of Women in Rugby whilst also inspiring the next generation both on and off the field, to enjoy everything the game of Rugby has to offer.
These three webinars focused on various aspects such as Challenging Inequality & Influencing Change, Leadership On & Off the Field and Right Here, Right Now & Beyond. Each of these webinars had a powerhouse panel of female players and rugby professionals who shared an inside look of their rugby journey and their vision for the future of Women in Rugby.
An Oceania Rugby Women’s combine was also introduced this year to help accelerate Rugby development for Women in the Pacific and pave the way for the region’s brightest talents. Drawing inspiration from the Men’s pacific Rugby Combine, the Women’s combine had 20 players from Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga arrive in the Gold Coast to be mentored by Head coach Daryl Gibson and other illustrious coaches.
Daryl Gibson, Head coach of the combine said:
“Really happy that the playing group have come together extremely well, not only are they coming in from different nations but very diverse club environments as well”. “In addition to introducing the group to a professional team environment our objective is to educate the players on how they can influence their own team environments with this knowledge”.
2022 Oceania Rugby Women’s Combine participants:
Lakapi Samoa: Saelua LEAULA, Paige MISKY, Octavia NANAI-IAFETA, Easter SAVELIO, Faalua Ioe TUGAGA, Penina TUILAEPA, Fogamanono TUSIGA, Angelica UILA.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Union: Janina NIGHTINGALE, Jessica REFIREKA, Vagikune WARI.
Tonga Rugby Union: Sokopeti AKAUOLA, Florence HAKALO, Tilila HIFO, Siutiti MA’AKE, Fakanonoa MANUMU’A, Lu’isa PITA, Shonte TO’A, Malia TOVA, Ayla COOK.
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Article written by:
Kace O’Neill & Vanessa Leota